Chombo launches appeal

Local Government, Urban and Rural Development minister Ignatius Chombo has lodged a Supreme Court appeal against the acquittal of four MDC-T councillors in Harare who were suspended on corruption charges.

Ignatius Chombo
Ignatius Chombo

The four Harare councillors were suspended last December over allegations of irregularly acquiring stands and forcing themselves into council houses. Councillors Maxwell Katsande of Ward 26, Johnson Zaranyika Ward 39, Paul Gorekore Ward 3 and Silas Machetu Ward 25, were reinstated by High Court judge Justice Bharat Patel two weeks ago.

The judge ruled that their dismissal was "so grossly irrational in their defiance of logic that no reasonable person applying his mind to the matter could possibly have arrived at those decisions".

The suspension followed the recommendation of a board of inquiry headed by senior magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi.

"We have contested the ruling that was made by the High Court to throw out the expulsion of the four councillors," Chombo said. "Our basis is that when the ruling was handed down, it was done clandestinely in such a way that we were excluded from the entire court process. We have thus gone back to court and argued that we need to have our side heard by the court – a move that has seen our appeal sailing through to result in a situation where the earlier ruling has been set aside to pave way for a proper hearing."

Chombo said the appeal invalidated the High Court ruling, and their suspension has kicked in again.

"As a result we have re-expelled the four affected councillors pending the finalisation of the matter in court."

Chombo has been accused of pursuing a vindictive crusade against MDC councillors and other city fathers. Chombo has so far suspended a total of four MDC councillors in Harare for corruption; five in Rusape; one in Nyaminyami Rural District Council; two in Zvimba Rural District Council; and recently two in Harare Municipality – Councillors Warship Dumba and Casper Takura who had opened a council probe on the minister on how he had acquired so many properties in Harare.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *